A ticket to ride? Immigration policies, channels of entry and migratory processes

Alessio Cangiano, University of the South Pacific
Roberto Impicciatore, Università degli Studi di Milano

The role, effectiveness and outcomes of immigration policies have attracted increasing attention in the recent migration literature. However, existing studies have only partially explored how immigration policies contribute to shaping the compositional breakdown by channels of entry of migration flows and the migratory patterns of different categories of migrants. Besides, even though migration is often a decision made at familiar level, the interaction between the migratory patterns of different members of the same household has been neglected in literature. This paper attempts to address these knowledge gaps. It begins by providing a conceptual basis for understanding how immigration policies influence the composition of in- and out-migration flows, resulting in category-specific patterns of settlement for migrants entering via different immigration routes. The role of selectivity mechanisms (e.g. operating in points-based systems, demand-driven labour admissions and pre-entry ‘integration’ requirements) and of different sets of economic and social rights granted to migrants admitted via different immigration routes is highlighted. In the second part of the paper this framework is used as a lens for a comparative analysis based on the 2008 Ad-Hoc Module on migrant workers of the EU Labour Force Survey and looking at: i) the changing composition of the migrant population by immigration status on arrival over time and across countries of destination, and ii) the patterns of entry and settlement of different categories of migrants (operationalized on the basis of the household composition and the year of entry). A final discussion reflects upon the links between openness of the admission system, states ability to control different types of migration flows and the degree of temporariness/permanency of the immigrant presence.

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Presented in Poster Session 2